Friday, September 12, 2014

2014-2015 School Curriculum

It's been a while since I've posted about our "Academy" activities.  So, I will briefly summarize.  Last April, we completed last year's curriculum about 2 weeks before the latest addition to our family.  We then spent the next 4 months enjoying living life together.  This summer was a summer of refreshment, renewed relationships, and joy.  The children did a little bit of school on the days were home and had the time.  But mostly, we played with friends, we played at the parks, we went swimming, and we did a lot of traveling.

But now here we are, at it again, about 4 weeks into our 3rd official year of homeschooling.   Much of last year our school time was a struggle with one of my children. So I spent a good amount of time in prayer and reflection and brainstormed with this child about how we can make our learning time together a more positive and enjoyable experience.  Thankfully, it looks like we have found a good rhythm for our days that should work for all of us.

Here are the players involved this year:
Big E- Grade 2, Age 7
Lil E- Grade K, Age 5
D- PreK, Age 2.9
M- 4 months

Here's the breakdown of our routine: 
* Note: This is more of a routine than a strict schedule
8:45-9:00        Group Time (Bible and Prayer time, Calendar Songs)
9:00-9:45        Lil E and Momma work together (reading, spelling, memory verses, LA, phonics)
                       Big E helps D with his curriculum and reads to him
9:45-10:30     Big E and Momma work together (reading, spelling memory verses, LA, misc.)
                       Lil E and D play together
10:30-11:00   Break and Snack
11:00-12:00  "Study Hall" (The Es work on their independent work, Math, Handwriting, Science)
12:00-1:00     Lunch
1:00-2:00       History/Read-Alouds/Additional Group Electives

I can not begin to tell you how wonderful this new routine has been for our family.  This way each child gets my undivided attention for the subjects they need my help with.  I am able to limit most of my hands-on time with the children to the morning hours, freeing me up to do chores, dinner, and other things in the afternoon.  Also, this allows them to have more breaks and free play during the day.  It gives both of the older children the opportunity to help and work with their younger brother.  And we have also found out that Big E works better later in the day.  This has decreased the number of arguments tremendously!  So, it seems to be a win-win for everyone.


Big E:

History/Geography/Core- Sonlight Core C - World History Part 2 (Fall of the Roman Empire to Modern Times)
LA- Sonlight Grade 4/5
Science- Sonlight C
Math- Math U See Gamma
Handwriting- Handwriting without Tears Grade 3 Cursive
Supplementals: Explode the Code 7, Wordly Wise B
Unit Studies/Lapbooks: on various topics, including Knights/Castles, Vikings, Middle Ages, Renaissance

Lil E:

History/Geography/Core- Sonlight Core A- Intro to World Cultures and History
LA- Sonlight Grade 1
Science- Misc.
Math- Math U See Primer/Alpha
Handwriting- Handwriting without Tears Grade 1 
Supplementals: Explode the Code
Unit Studies/Lapbooks: on various topics mostly related to books we read (ex. My Father's Dragon)

Sonlight PreK3/4 Books
Confessions of a Homeschooler Letter of the Week
PreK2 Toddler 1+1+1=1 Curriculum
Kumon Tracing, Puzzles, Crafts, Coloring, Sticker and Paste

(He does 5 activities plus 1 book each day.)

Enrichment Supplementals:
Hymn Practice - from
Nature Study- using "The Nature Connection" as our guide
Art Appreciation- from
Music Appreciation- from

We are also participating in a local Co-op this year.  Big E just joined Cub Scouts and Lil E is continuing with Ballet classes.  We still try to go on as many field trips as possible and are always looking for extra activities available around the area.

And all of this while caring for this little sweetie as well.

I am hopeful that this will be a great year for all of us.  With each year I gain a little more confidence and am better able to discern which activities are necessary and which are not.  I am also learning to relax more and find more joy in the process.  Though, I still think I have a long way to go and a lot to learn.  This whole year I will continue to evaluate how things are going, because I sense we might need to switch up our curriculum next year.  But we will see!  

Here's to a great 2014-2015!

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